Silicon Valley Bank collapsed last Friday, causing instability in the financial markets and the wider banking industry. Many prominent business leaders and politicians, including Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot, blamed SVB’s collapse on “woken” business practices. Now, data from Claremont Institute Center to the American Way of Life appears to back up those claims.
The Claremont database includes a list of large-name corporations that donated to Black Lives Matter or other affiliated organizations in the past few years. The database shows that BLM and its affiliates collected almost $82.9 billion between 2020 and now. They reportedly used large amounts of the money to fund urban disturbances following George Floyd’s passing; to morally manipulate companies into adopting so-called ecological, social and governance practices; and to indoctrinate children into hatred of “themselves”, Claremont recently stated in Newsweek.
SVB contributed $73 million to the $82.9 billion and was well-known for its many identity-based, woke business practices throughout the years. According to the database SVB claimed that it had increased “opportunities of dialogue” and hosted over 40 small group “Conversation Circles”, in which more than two-thirds of our employees participated, in order to discuss racial equality issues. SVB claimed it also published its first diversity equity and inclusion report in 2020, and pledged $50M to invest in its DEI programs and partnerships the next year.
Another report shows that SVB has shifted its focus away from investing in tech start-ups and shareholder interests to LGBTQ+ activism. Jay Ersapah (SVB’s chief risk officers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East), whose office is in the U.K. spent considerable time talking about Jay Ersapah’s biography as “a queer individual of color and a first generation immigrant” who said she didn’t see many role models growing up.
Ersapah was also involved in organizing pride-related events. She received international acclaim for organizing SVB’s first ever global “safe space catch up”, which supported employees in sharing their experiences of coming forward,” according to Outstanding, an organization that recognizes LGBTQ+ role model in the international business community. Ersapah’s outstanding feature did not mention her abilities as a financial risk assessment specialist.
Many Republicans took aim at SVB’s wake activism in the wake of the bank’s collapse and blamed it for much of its insolvency. Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), called SVB “one the most woke banks [its] search for the ESG-type investment policy and policy” and predicted that it would collapse due to “bad Democrat policies.”
Ron DeSantis, Florida Governor (R), also spoke out, saying that SVB was too concerned with diversity, equity and inclusion, politics, and all sorts of stuff, and that DEI was keeping it from “focusing [its] core mission.”
Fox Business reports that despite the large donations SVB made BLM and other similar-minded organizations, some industry professionals blame the SVB run for shaky bond market conditions, the size of its uninsured deposit and rising interest rates.
Signature Bank also went bankrupt on Friday after SVB’s collapse. Signature Bank’s BLM-related donations over the past few years have totaled around $850,000.